8 Wired – Batch 31

I have never been much impressed with beers from the Southern Hemisphere, but recently I heard about a brewery in New Zealand that was making some interesting brews and have been patiently waiting to for some of their stuff to pop up at my usual haunts. I was very happy to see 8 Wired is now available in LA and was even happier when I got to have their oak aged coffee stout, Batch 31.

8 Wired doesn’t have a brewery per say, but contract brew using the equipment at Renaissance Brewing in Blenheim New Zealand. Founded by a married couple that, after a road trip across America, realized they could take their home brewing to a bigger scale and make something drastically different form traditional Kiwi beers.

8 Wired - Batch 31Batch 31 has a bit of an interesting story as well. 8 Wired wanted to do something special for their eighth batch of beer, but because of high demand and brewing equipment availability it just didn’t happen. So Batch 18 was the next best thing. They decided to go all out and make the most regal of imperial stouts, infusing it with locally roasted fair trade organic coffee and then aging it in American oak barrels for three months. Sadly (for us in the states), it was so popular in New Zealand that there wasn’t enough to send out to foreign markets. Batch 31, a slightly tweaked version of Batch 18, was 8 Wired’s apology for dropping the ball on Batch 18.

The beer is not for everyday drinking. Coming in at 11% ABV and running $15, you’re gonna want to slowly enjoy this beer, preferably in the comfort of your most comfortable chair (maybe that’s just me). As would be expected, it pours a super black color with a very sparse amount of brown head with just a hint of lace. The aroma is a thing of beauty, with strong coffee and chocolate notes with a hint of toffee and an enjoyable oakiness. The mouthful is nice and full with a light amount of carbonation. The flavors follow pretty closely with the aroma, starting with a deep coffee flavor that moves to a rich bittersweet chocolate and wraps up with a roasted malt and oak flavor. The finish definitely reminds you that this is a strong one with just a slight burn in the back of the throat.

Overall, I would have to put this one on my list of favorite stouts of all time. My only hesitation on this one is the price and I’ve yet to find any information on the availability of it (It’s a sad day when you realize a beer you really enjoyed will never be released again). I would highly recommend this one to anyone who like stouts and especially any coffee fans looking for a good strong coffee beer. If you would like to purchase this beer check out Buzz in Downtown LA or you can order it from K&L Wines. I very much look forward to trying more from 8 Wired in the near future.

Name Batch 31
Brewery 8 Wired Brewing Co.
Style Imperial Stout
ABV 11.0%
Availability Limited Bottle Release
Rating 5 out of 5

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